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jbegley 36 days ago | hide | past | favorite

I am going to object to the idea that "Tech" can be racist, it can be functional or nonfunctional, the people who use it can be good or bad the tech is agnostic.

Now this argument is made more interesting in the age of ML and AWS Rekognition in particular, but my understanding is that ML decisions/classifications are made based on training data, if the model had been trained with different data it would've produced different results. Ultimately this ML is just math run at a massive scale with a ton of data points, it isn't intended to show how the world should be rather express according to the math how it actually works, the math the model is objective it doesn't care about feelings or bias or prejudice it just classifies images according to an algorithm based on training data.

Can someone help me understand the counterpoint that technology is inherently ist? I agree it can be used to push ist agendas or perpetuate causes of *ism but technology itself seems like it would be pretty objective and if it is producing uncomfortable or bad results based on it's math either the tech is bad, or it is trying to show us something we may not like.

This kind of thing is why I have a knee jerk negative reaction to all the corporations tweeting their support to the protests and BLM this week. They'll talk about how supportive they are, donate some money, and pat themselves on the back. But in a couple months it'll be forgotten and they'll continue doing stuff like this.

The sad thing is it’s become a popularity contest. It’s mostly insincere and lip service. And my guess is the target audience aren’t actually the people affected the most, but others participating in this concept.

Now, I don’t agree with all the demands people have but I do agree with reform, oversight, (deescalation) training, demilitarization, recruiting more people local to where they serve, etc.

But these companies ... all they have to do to be “woke” is tweet out some empty words they don’t believe in. I mean, what business owner thinks “yeah, I don’t mind the looting”.

It’s vastly thin PR.

Exactly. Corporations don't care about BLM. The individuals in the company might. The people writing the tweets or the press releases very well might care deeply as well. But the corporation as a whole will only care for as long as it's the popular thing to do. They won't do anything that might hurt the bottom line -- like, for instance, voicing support for Hong Kong.

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